Saturday 19 September is due to see another anti-mask, anti-lockdown, anti-vaccination demonstration in Trafalgar Square.
MC’d by currently suspended nurse Kate Shemirani, a host of conspiracy theorists and “medics” of dubious qualifications and views will take the stage to denounce “enforced vaccination”, to call Covid-19 a hoax, or to blame it on 5G. They will be joined Jon Wedger, “police whistleblower” into “elite paedophile rings”.
The “medics” include an osteopath, a holistic and homeopathic dentist, a lecturer in mental-health nursing, a “nutrition and wellness doctor”, and more than one medic currently suspended from their profession. If this protest draws anything like the crowd of 29 August, we should be worried.
Few doubt Covid-19 is real. Only a very tiny minority believe that Bill Gates will genetically modify people via a vaccine he has funded for a disease he created. But vague general scepticism is much more widespread.
The constantly changing and contradictory guidance given to people by the government lends itself to the conspiracy theorists. They can hang their more bizarre claims on genuine mistrust of the government and of the official handling of the crisis.
At the moment resistance to vaccinations in Britain is much smaller than in the US. Totnes, the area with the lowest level of vaccination for diseases including MMR, has 78% coverage. The national average is 94.5%. But scepticism is growing worldwide about vaccinations.
In 2019 US doctors reported that 77% of US parents who refused the MMR vaccine for their children did so because they thought it “causes autism”. The disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield now operates from the US, where he still peddles this long discredited and dangerous theory.
There are thousands of claims made each year in the US for so-called “vaccine injury,” only a tiny proportion of which have any real link to injury or death caused by a vaccine. In the US over half of deaths linked to vaccine injury in the last 30 years are linked to an old vaccine for whooping cough, discontinued in the 1990s. An adverse reaction to a flu jab is not uncommon, but it is very unlikely to be severe, still less to result in a life-changing injury.
It is part of the job of socialists to popularise and demystify science and to weaken the grip of reactionary twaddle.